This report costs poverty based on three broad measurable components: opportunity costs, remedial costs and intergenerational costs. The authors state that these costs could potentially be reallocated, and benefits could potentially be realized if all poverty were eliminated. The total cost of poverty in the Atlantic region ranges from $2 billion per year in Nova Scotia to $273 million in Prince Edward Island. It is close to a billion in Newfoundland and Labrador, $959 million, and $1.4 billion in New Brunswick. These costs represent a significant loss of economic growth of 4.76% of Nova Scotia’s GDP to 2.9% in Newfoundland and Labrador. The impact on Prince Edward Island’s GDP is 4.10%, and 3.71% in New Brunswick.
The purpose of this costing exercise is to illustrate the shared economic burden of poverty, and the urgency that exists for Atlantic Canadian governments to act to eradicate it.